Ever had a friend who was so black that he had to move some feet closer so you could recognize him? So black that when you guys met all you could say was ‘hey, my guy what’s up!’, simply cos you couldn’t recall his name? Not cos you’re such a bad friend but cos you can’t seem to remember it, almost like the blackness of his skin had smeared on the letters that form his name so you can’t make it out from the top of your head. Such is the color of the guy I became friends with a few weeks back.
We met right outside the church as service was going on. Yea, I was in church on Sunday, wasn’t to cover an event, I was there as a regular, a bench warmer.
I and my black friend exchanged pleasantries as I waited for more light to fall on his face but he was pretty contempt with his position and wasn’t willing to change it for this much needed illumination to happen. But as he made a brief adjustment and the letters began to unravel I could pronounce the emerging word. Though the light wasn’t enough for the word itself to be completed, it was enough for me to remember his name.
All that was left was a way to say it without giving the impression that I did forget his name. I was able to successfully do that and we headed into the church just in time to hear the pastor speaking in tongues.
He spoke some weird words, words along the lines of “Santa who carry my sandal” and something that sounded a lot like “my shoes can predict”. It was all about footwear that day. He went on and on for a while before resuming his sermon. But something else caught my interest.
No, not the lady in the see-through dress who passed by to take a seat, not the man with the funny haircut, and not the makeup that was wearing a young lady on the other row, it was this guy clad in a suit, shades on, standing to one side of the altar. Not his presence for I had seen his type back home in Nigeria.
There were usually more, about two to six, depending on how big the ‘Man of God’ was. They were private security for the pastor maybe just incase God took his eye of his man. Or maybe the preacher knows deep down that he ain’t God’s man.
But I digress.
This particular guy in his suit and shades was not exactly formidable but what he was doing was remarkable, to put it lightly. He wasn’t just standing there, he was constantly vibrating. His head, his arms, legs, every part was shaking. He was praying.
He was praying even as the preacher preached; he prayed during praise and worship, prayed over testimony time, and he prayed past offering time.
He was like the guy put there to pray over the entire service.
So there I was, enjoying the distraction from this guy until the service ended. Two hours twenty minutes of constant body movement. Remarkable!
I sat for a while to have a chat with my friend, the black one. And when we started to leave the premises, at the main exit, there he was, alone, suit jacket unbuttoned, looking more relaxed but his lips were moving. Incoherent at first but as we approached him i could discern the words.
It was ‘both sides of the story’ by Phil Collins. How ironic, there were indeed both sides to this guy.
Was this the song he sang all through the church service?